whale shark
Day 1 :
PADI Scuba Divers Course Before we began scuba diving in the Ocean, it was essential to learn some of the theory behind the application and practical experience. This was necessary, because it would help us understand regulations and procedures that we had to follow not only in the water but outside it as well. To complete the test we had to answer 3 quizzes and obtain a grade of 8/10 or more in order to pass. These quizzes were to administered after we watched a 30 minute PADI video. Another aspect of day 1 involved achieving experience with the scuba gear, which we would do by practicing skills and underwater techniques in a swimming pool
Challenges have been undertaken: The first two halves of the PADI theory course were centred around arranging scuba gear and responsibilities as a diver. However, what challenged me the most however was section 3 involving water current movement, visibility and dive environments. This module was a bit technical with heavy diver vocabulary, but I managed to recall what was important including thermoclines, pressure calculations, and buoyancy control, which allowed me to get 9/10 on the quiz. In practice, during our swimming pool dive, the hard part was to get used to the buoyancy mechanism using the BCD, which I had not attempted before.
It took a little getting used to, with some bumps on the ground, but I was finally able to successfully use the mechanism to maintain neutral buoyancy, thus allowing myself to stay under water and move up and down through breathing in and out respectively. Benefits of working Collaboratively: What really made the difference in the PADI theory course was the fact that I could engage in conversation with my peer (being my sister), thus allowing us to fill in some gaps of knowledge that came up when one of us lost a little focus when watching the instructional videos. I tried to accommodate as many of her suggestions as possible resulting in many beneficial cases, including the question about wet suit usage. Inside the water we assisted each other, being buddies, all the way from zipping each other up in the wet suits to practicing alternate air source activities inside the pool. All in all, today was an extremely novel, yet enjoyable day that allowed me to learn the basics of one of the most rewarding experiences in life.
Day 2: PADI Scuba divers course
We started out today by reaching the dive spot (approximately 2 hours from Hua Hin), and getting on a speed boat to travel to a nearby island, known as Koh Talu. As soon as we got there we noticed whale sharks and got a rare close look at the magnificent creatures. But our dive training was just getting underway, and I hoped our luck at the start would only continue. Challenges have been undertaken: As we entered the water and put on our SCUBA equipment (including the weightbelt, the BCD, the fins and the mask) the first challenge was descending swiftly and appropriately, clutching the rope that went to the sea bed, using the deflate button on the BCD, equalising the ears, and looking about to make sure you and your buddy were not separated. All these considerations were difficult to process at first, and the amount of tasks were all to be done simultaneously.
But the key was not to panic inside the water, knowing that your air source, being the regulator, was secure doing the other tasks seemed harmless. To qualify and become a PADI scuba diver, certain skills were needed to be completed by me, and included one where we had to remove our masks underwater, and refit them so as to ensure that no water was left inside. This task was especially difficult, since the salt water that remained, when the water had drained out from the mask stung my eyes.
Getting my senses together, and remaining calm was the best I could do, and it helped in the end since the sensation quickly ceased. Finally the last big challenge of the day was completing a CESA (Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent), which I had not correctly performed in the pool the previous day. I was hoping, I could face up to my challenge and not make the same mistakes of breathing in air, or going up to quickly. It was relief when I reached the surface to find a beaming instructor, saying that I had completed the task, and had done much better than my first attempt.
Collaboration with peers: On day 2, when performing the dives, was where the Buddy system came into place. As dive buddies, (my sister and I) not only had to make sure each other’s equipment was in place and ready to go on the boat, but also had to ensure each others well being under water. We had to swim side by side, without loosing sight of each other, since it was not possible to call out to someone under water the highest level of alertness was required. Through all of that, we had to also pay heed to the instructors directions, and it was sometimes hard to keep everything on track.
Overall, the day went by too quickly, and my first diving experience was as rewarding as it was challenging. From the cushion corals, sea urchins, yellow tails and angel fish to the regulator recovery, fin pivot and even the CESA, the dives were a truly blissful learning experience.
by Anish
steve thompson

Update 2017…

Better late than never….

The year began with some strong winds and heavy rains which not only
disrupted the month of January for diving, but also caused chaos on
the roads of Thailand along with some deaths due to flooding.

Happy to say since February the weather has been fairly consisten with
other years and we have managed some very good dive conditions. Along
with the usual marine life, we have also been seeing an increase in
whale shark sightings – almost a weekly occurence since mid March to
the end of May.

Back up to date – and it seems like we are getting some very heavy
rainfall at present (July) – this has been fairly regular for the past
4 weeks or so and does not look like its going to stop until at least
the end of July.

Hopefully, August onwards will prove to be as good as last year
regarding both business and conditions.

Happy Diving